The Chinese Billionaire Who Stood Up to Beijing

Guo Wengui's attacks on corruption among Chinese leaders have seen government back down.

June 1, 2017 10:57 am
(Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

When the billionaire Guo Wengui began using Twitter to accuse senior leaders in Beijing of political corruption, it seemed ominous for him. State-controlled media began to attack him back. China requested Interpol put out a warrant for his arrest. And while he was in relative safety in New York, Guo’s wife and child were still in China.

Then, Guo abruptly revealed that his family had come to visit. China had, at least for the moment, backed down.

One of Guo’s biggest targets has been Wang Qishan, the Chinese anticorruption czar. While many of Guo’s charges can be refuted or lack proof, there is a real chance they could lead to an end of the career of one of the most powerful men in China.

Guo himself remains a mystery. There’s uncertainty about how exactly he made his fortune and whether his claims about his past are true. (Notably, he insists a brother was essentially gunned down in cold blood by Chinese police during the 1989 Tiananmen protests—while court documents say the brother attacked them.) As well as being a key player in China’s political and financial future, Guo has a reputation for being eccentric.

The video below below reflects this odd mystique, as he introduces his new puppy to the world.

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